Federal cabinet delays hike in petroleum products’ prices

ISLAMABAD: The Federal cabinet Tuesday delayed the decision to raise the prices of petroleum products for few days and directed ECC to review the OGRA’s recommendation.
Addressing a press conference after federal cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan said the summary of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to raise petroleum prices was reviewed. “Realizing problems faced by people, the prime minister decided to send this matter to the ECC and a decision will be taken later,” Awan said.
In its summary sent to the Ministry of Finance, OGRA had recommended an increase of Rs14.37 in the per litre price of petrol.
She said that federal Cabinet also decided to observe the office timings from 10 am to 4 pm during the holy month of Ramazan to provide maximum relief to people observing fast without compromising their productivity. Minister of Water Resources Faisal Vawda was also present on this occasion.
She said a special committee has been assigned the responsibility to prepare a Ramazan package to provide maximum relief to the masses. She said the committee will also make sure that no load-shedding is done during the holy month.
Firdous Ashiq Awan said the cabinet was taken into confidence regarding the proposed local government system in Punjab that will be modeled on the one already implemented successfully in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
She said the new local government system will devolve the powers at the grass root level and empower local people.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information said cabinet discussed in detail five legislative bills that will help people resolve their problems as part of people friendly agenda of PTI government.
She said Enforcement of Women Property Rights bill will ensure women get their due share in inheritance. Amendments in Code of Civil Procedure will help decide the civil cases swiftly. Similarly, the Succession Certificates will now be issued by NADRA and heirs can get these within a fortnight, saving their precious time and hassle.
Firdous Ashiq Awan said Whistle Blower Protection bill will also be introduced to provide protection to whistleblowers regarding corruption in various public institutions.
She said an Anti-Corporal Punishment bill will also be tabled soon in the parliament to discourage the physical punishment and abuse at schools. Special Assistant to Prime Minister said a bill named Zainab Alert will also be introduced to stop child sexual abuse.
The cabinet also decided to hold audit of the 1300 billion rupees circular debt in order to determine who is responsible for this increase, and the facts will be presented in next cabinet meeting.
Firdous Ashiq Awan said the previous Punjab government left a debt of 100 billion rupees, besides the bounced cheques of 80 billion rupees. However, due to good governance and austerity measures taken by the incumbent government, a saving of 100 billion rupees has been made at the federal level.
The Prime Minister directed to ensure that austerity steps are implemented at both federal and provincial levels.
Special Assistant to PM said the cabinet was also taken into confidence on various initiatives taken by Task Force on Institutional Reforms in various institutions.
Firdous Ashiq Awan said the cabinet congratulated the Prime Minister on his successful visit to China and signing of important agreements on socio-economic development, free trade and agriculture.
Minister of Water Resources Faisal Vawda said that the ground-breaking ceremony of the Mohmand Dam would be held on Thursday.

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